Washington advises Athens, Ankara to pursue diplomatic route over Aegean friction


The US State Department has called on Greece and Turkey to use their regular diplomatic channels to resolve any disputes in the Aegean following an incident on Monday night, when a Turkish coast guard vessel rammed a Greek patrol boat off the Imia islets.

When questioned about the incident on Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson said: "Turkey and Greece have long-established diplomatic channels for addressing Aegean issues.

"We encourage all parties to take steps that will deescalate the current situation. As a matter of principle, the US supports the sovereignty of countries in region, including Greece and Turkey."

Earlier, the Greek Foreign Ministry lodged a demarche over the incident off Imia, which occurred just a few days after Turkish warships stopped a drillship belonging to Italian energy giant ENI from exploring for gas in Block 3 of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).